Re: Swept Away By History

To: Neely Tucker, Washington Post
From: Bill Vallante,

There were 4 million black people in the 11 slave-owning states at the start of the Civil War, and by war’s end, 500,000 had fled to the North ….. looking for something, anything, other than the genteel world of the gallant South.<<<

What about the other 3.5 million? Here’s something you won’t see or hear at Tredegar… It’s from the son of one of the 3 million who didn’t run away, but instead served in the Confederate army:

“I had two uncles. Jipp and Charlie Clark in Stonewall’s company. They would never talk much about him after his death. It hurts them too much, for Stonewall’s men loved him so much. Jeff Davis was a great man, too.", Harvey, Charlie Jeff, South Carolina, from “The Slave Narratives”

>>>You walk into the bookstore at the Museum of the Confederacy, then the one at the Civil War Center, and the first differences you notice are the black faces on the shelves in the latter: Nat Turner. "Slave Nation." Harriet Tubman. "Remembering Slavery."<<<

“Slave Nation”? How about “Murdering Nation”? Here’s something about Nat Turner that you won’t read in any books by contemporary authors. FYI, The “Will” who is mentioned was Nat Turner’s second-in-command.

“Two of Mr. Francis’ nephews, eight- and three-year-old boys, were playing in the lane as the Negroes rode silently toward them. The three-year-old, seeing the familiar Will, asked for a ride as he had many times before. Will picked him up on the horse, cut off his head, and dropped the body in the lane…”

Nice guys eh?

As far as Theodore Laney or anyone else like him is concerned, i.e.

>>>"It was a miserable experience," he says of his afternoon on the panel, the key part of which turned on the subject of Confederate monuments in city parks. DeLaney posited that black people are Southerners, too, and they might not want such monuments.”<<<

Has it ever occurred to him, or you, or to that scalawag Rawls for that matter, that a couple of million predominantly white Virginians might not agree with them, and that their opinion matters as much as anyone else’s?

Perhaps you could do a follow up story on this question? Where is it written that because some black people don’t like Confederate monuments or symbols that their feelings must be assuaged by those who do? I have looked high and low for where this is written but I have failed to find it.

Walt Whitman said “Future years will never know the seething hell and the black infernal background of this war, and it is well they should not – the real war will never get in the books!” Old Walt was a bit off in his prediction. The “real war” is in the books – it’s just that you won’t find those books in places like Tredegar and you won’t find people like Dr. Laney, or even Mr. Rawls for that matter, acknowledging it. Here’s another piece of “real war” history for you.

Official Records of the War of the Rebellion – .R.–SERIES I–VOLUME XL/3

MAJOR: I have the honor to report that about the 13th of June last a regiment of negroes, commanded by Colonel Draper, of Massachusetts, arrived at Pope’s Creek, in Westmoreland County, Va., accompanied by about fifty regular U.S. Cavalry.(*) They marched to Union Wharf Richmond County, in divided commands, taking negroes, horses, cattle, bacon, wagons, farming utensils, &c., all of which were either carried away or burned. About the 14th ultimo, at a place called Hutt’s Store, near the center of Westmoreland County, some of the negro troops went to the house of Private George, of Ninth Virginia Cavalry, and committed a rape upon his wife, who had just been confined with a babe only six weeks old. She is now almost a maniac, and begs that some one will kill her. This atrocious crime can be verified by a number of witnesses who are personally cognizant of the fact. In Warsaw, Richmond County, the negro troops attempted to ravish white ladies, but were foiled by the assistance of the female slaves of the households…”

Hope you enjoyed the history lessons!

Bill Vallante
Commack NY
SCV Camp 3000 (Associate)
SCV Camp 1506 (Associate)